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LOCAL >Probe launched into helicopter crash in Turkey’s east

TUNCELİ

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An investigation has been launched into the helicopter crash in the eastern province of Tunceli that claimed the lives of a judge, seven police officers, a noncommissioned officer and three personnel. 

The investigation into the crash of Sikorsky S-70 Blackhawk type helicopter was launched by the Tunceli Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 19. 

The helicopter crashed on April 18 after contact with it was lost on 11:43 a.m. It had taken off from the Pülümür district and was en route to the Ovacık district. 

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said after the crash that there was no “external factor” behind the incident. 

“There is no external factor behind the crash of the helicopter. It crashed due to bad weather conditions,” Soylu told reporters, adding that reaching the debris of the helicopter took two-and-a-half hours.

Meanwhile, it has been determined that one of the police officers killed in the accident went live on social media right after he got onto the helicopter from Pülümür. 

Police officer Mesut Özdemir, 31, from the southeastern province of Gaziantep, went live around 11:25 a.m. and the footage showed the mountains, while his relatives posted comments with prayers. 

It was also revealed that Özdemir survived an attack on police headquarters in Tunceli two months ago, Doğan News Agency reported. 

The bodies of those killed were retrieved from the debris early on April 19 and were sent to the forensic medicine institute in the eastern province of Elazığ. 

The funerals of those killed were held in the province later in the day.

April/19/2017

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